Phoenix, Arizona - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Wednesday that his office has filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Amazon Home Warranty, LLC (a/k/a AHW), its officers, and affiliated entities (Defendants) for allegedly making misleading statements in connection with the sale of home warranties to Arizona consumers. The company is not affiliated with Amazon.com.
The lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office (AGO) alleges that the Defendants falsely advertised that they had been in business for nearly 10 years, even though AHW had just recently started operating. In furtherance of their misleading scheme, the Defendants purportedly created fake identities to hide the true identity of the company’s primary owner—Harry J. Bailey—to conceal his substantial connection with a prior failed home warranty company, which earned an "F" rating with the BBB and had its authority to do business revoked by the State of New Jersey. The Defendants even went as far as to publicly install fictitious individuals to appear as AHW's president.
The lawsuit additionally alleges the Defendants went even further by illegally promoting the business through bogus five-star reviews. Incredibly, the fake reviews often were copies of consumer reviews previously posted about competitors of AHW. For example, on a single day—October 5, 2020—at least twenty five-star reviews that had previously been posted by customers to another home warranty company's website were repurposed and posted to the BBB’s website by individuals purporting to be AHW customers.
“Home warranty companies, like all businesses, must be truthful in their advertising,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Unplanned home repairs are already stressful enough. Consumers should not be subjected to bogus reviews and other misrepresentations by home warranty companies.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Maricopa County Superior Court. The AGO seeks consumer restitution, civil penalties, and injunctive relief to prevent the Defendants from further deceiving consumers.
This is the third action Attorney General Brnovich has filed against a home warranty company in the last two years. A lawsuit filed against Choice Home Warranty in November 2019 is ongoing. Earlier this year, the AGO obtained a consent agreement against Landmark Home Warranty, securing up to $1,000,000 in restitution for 26,000 Arizona consumers after the company failed to provide promised expedited services during heat emergencies.
Assistant Attorney General Syreeta Tyrell, Unit Chief Counsel Matthew du Mee, and Senior Litigation Counsel Joshua Whitaker of the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section are handling this case.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.